America plays ‘Who’s a racist?’ while a recession looms, national debt explodes
America’s national pastime isn’t baseball any more.
It’s not football or basketball or even competitive e-sports.
It’s the game of Trump’s-a-racist-no-he’s-not.
Seemingly, it’s all we ever talk about on cable news and social media and your local paper’s opinion page.
It is a stupid, pointless food fight which ignores our nation’s more pressing needs like divorcing parents too concerned with who took out the garbage to notice the checking account is overdrawn and the refrigerator doesn’t have any groceries.
Here’s a stark reality: Our nation is heading toward a recession.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average saw an 800 point plummet this week, the Asian markets are seeing a similar drop, and the bond markets aren’t bullish on the future.
Typically those investing in long-term bonds can expect higher yields, because if you agree to lock up your money for a longer period of time in a bond you should get more money back.
But the U.S. Treasury has what’s called an “inverted yield curve” going on.
Basically, short-term bonds are paying out bigger yields than long-term bonds.
When that happens a recession typically follows.
Recessions are inevitable, but hitting one right now would be very, very bad thanks to poor leadership in Washington.
To the extent that President Donald Trump has been able to maintain his base of political support, it’s been in no small part because of what has been a strong economy.
Something Republicans like to credit to Trump policies like tax cuts.
But Republicans sold those tax cuts as something that wouldn’t impact the nation’s deficit and debt problem. A growing economy would pump more tax revenues into the government, they told us.
Only that hasn’t happened, and massive spending growth under Trump and Republican leadership hasn’t helped either.
The nation currently has $22 trillion in national debt, and the Congressional Budget Office predicts we’ll add another $11 trillion over the next decade.
That prediction was before the passage of a massive spending bill last month which is expected to add another $1.7 trillion to the national debt over the next decade.
A recession-slowed national economy would also worsen the debt outlook for the exact reason Republicans said the Trump tax cuts would improve it.
Slower economic activity means slower tax collections.
That’s happening. Exports are declining. Business investment has gone negative.
The jury is still out on how much Trump’s trade war has contributed to this (that it has contributed is beyond question), but it is a certainty Congressional disregard for our nation’s finances will make any coming economic setbacks more painful.
Fixing this will take real leaders cooperating toward mutually-painful solutions.
But who are these leaders? The people in Washington busy accusing anyone with a dissenting point of view of being a political extremist and bigot?
Not that we voters should get to excuse ourselves from this mess.
The “Who’s a racist?” game is played for our benefit. All the posturing and brinkmanship is done to win over our votes.
It works. We elected these idiots.
Rob Port, founder of SayAnythingBlog.com, a North Dakota political blog, is a Forum Communications commentator. Listen to his Plain Talk Podcast and follow him on Twitter at @RobPort.